Queen Victoria, Golden Jubilee, Art Union of London
This was the last Art Union medal to be commissioned and commemorates the jubilee of the Art Union as well as that of Queen Victoria. Thirty medals in silver and forty in bronze were allotted as prizes in the Art Union lottery in both 1887 and 1888.
Sir Alfred Gilbert, (1854-1934), sculptor and goldsmith. He trained under J.E. Boehm and studied in France and Italy. His sculpture Icarus, an early commission from Lord Leighton, brought him much recognition and was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1884. Gilbert's best known works include the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus, depicting Anteros, one of the first statues to be cast in aluminium; the 1888 statue of Queen Victoria in Winchester and the Queen Alexandra Memorial at Marlborough Gate. His use of decoration in all he produced is paramount and his work as a goldsmith was extremely intricate. He produced a number of smaller objects including seals, keys and medals and some of the more well-known examples include the mayoral chain for Preston and the figurines of Victory, St. Michael and St. George. Gilbert was a perfectionist and any work he was not satisfied with he destroyed. He became an associate of the Royal Academy in 1887, a full member in 1892 and Professor of Sculpture in 1900. In 1889 he won the Grand Prix at the Paris International Exhibition and was created a member of the Victorian order in 1897. This medal is considered to be significant as it features all the characteristics of the New Sculpture Movement and signalled a new direction for medal production.
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